The worlds of technology, navigation and nature convened in a mildly surreal way over the past month.
Satellite navigation development, like all things space-related, often appears to be governed more by national pride than calm pragmatism. Nobody has yet explained effectively to me the need for billions to be invested in Galileo, the European alternative to the American GPS system. The Russian version of GPS, GLONASS, has not been a story of relentless success or necessity either, but apparently the system has now been tested on Vladimir Putin's dog.
'Mr Ivanov said that the equipment goes on a standby mode when "the dog doesn't move, if it, say, lies down in a puddle."
Mr Putin interrupted him jokingly: "My dog isn't a piglet, it doesn't lie in puddles.'